Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Computer Names

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Elk icon Ever since I had a Mac, I was thrilled by the fact that I could give it a name, both in the (File) Sharing control panel and the hard drive, which should if possible have a matching icon. I think my computer started off simply as Sven. At some stage I changed it to Kalle, the name of my cuddly toy elk – or in fact any elk as far as I am concerned. And I gave it an elk icon as well.

I also think that the computer's 'personality' is bound to what's in it rather than to the hardware itself. Thus, my current computer is always named Kalle while my other computers got new names after I retired them or put them to different uses. Current names are: Laalaa for my LC III that served as an Ethertalk to Localtalk router for my parents until my dad got a new ethernet capable printer recently; Dipsy for my old Powermac that's used by my mum these days and Nibbler for the nifty little Mac SE that I got for my birthday last year. As you can see, I am seriously into silly/cartoon style naming. [Does anyone have a black-and-white 32x32 Nibbler icon, by the way?]

Naming style is always very interesting, I've seen a couple of interesting schemes. Göttingen math department used to name their Sun workstations like famous mathematicians: Gauß, Noether etc. Printers at Warwick maths department were named after authors. You could print on Dickens or Frisch, for example. Central servers at Warwick had flower names, being called primrose, mimosa or crocus. Elsewhere, many computers seem to have fairly generic science fiction names or be called Feynman.

Have you seen any interesting naming schemes? What's your computer called?

June 10, 2003, 18:32


Comment by d.w.: User icon

My current machines are named after characters from the old American TV series “Bewitched”. My main machine is Samantha, my old Supermac (currently serving as the MP3 server) is Endora, and my iPod is Uncle Arthur. The next machine will probably be Tabitha or Darrin.

When I worked for a graphics shop, our machines were all named after artists, so we had Dali, Picasso, Manet, Doré, and even Guyton.

June 10, 2003, 19:07

Comment by Sören Kuklau: User icon

Interesting? Dunno…

The older Mac at home is an UMAX Apus 3000, so it’s actually a clone, and it’s now running YellowDog Linux 2.2 and serving as a router, WINS and DNS server, etc. It’s simply called “umax” for obvious reasons - everyone can remember that.

My Athlon 500 machine from ‘99 is called “eskaa”. The story behind that goes as far as my primary nickname (“chucker”): at the age of ten, or maybe even earlier, I was fascinated by the idea of starting some kind of cult - a religion perhaps, with basic rules and such. Don’t ask ;-) “eskaa” would be the spiritual, imaginary leader, and “chucker” would be myself. Since the idea eventually became unrealistic, I felt like keeping “chucker” as a nick and abandoning “eskaa” - it later resurfaced in the Athlon’s computer name. “eskaa”, btw, shares my iTunes library over the local network using SMB; never tested it with 1.x or 2.x, but it definitely works fine with 3.0.1 and later - apart from the typical SMB bugs in OS X which iTunes cannot be faulted for.

Which leads my to my iBook from ‘02, which is called “wohba”. “wohba” is the short form of “wohbanabongu” (or so), an exclamation of an alien in a old children game from Cyan (you know, the MYST, RIVEN, and now URU guys). “wohba” is also used by Cyan employees as a general “woah” replacement; some kind of Corporate Identity.

In late ‘02, I started setting up a Windows 2000 Server for school and that one needed a name, too - I used “kiam”. When you reverse it, it’s a typical German male name (“Maik”) and happens to be the name of one of my better friends - he was here when I started working on “kiam”.

Lastly, my work at school as a network admin is summarized internally as the “lesmona” project just because it sounds weird. “Lesmona” produces mineral water in bottles.

Not sure if my naming schemes are interesting, but they sure are weird ;-)

June 10, 2003, 20:02

Comment by Andrew Phelps: User icon

My various networks have different names. My primary home network is Porsche, and all devices therein are Porsches. I’m submitting this comment on Boxster, my notebook.

June 10, 2003, 20:35

Comment by ssp: User icon

Thanks for the feedback, quite an interesting variety, even for such few people.

My brother will love the idea of the ‘Porsche’ network.

June 12, 2003, 17:39

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